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Gateway to the Moon: Building the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex

The Gateway to the Moon is not a guide to the NASA Kennedy Space Center as such but describes the early history of America’s manned space programme.

The Gateway to the Moon book was written by Charles D. Benson and William B. Faherty and published by University Press of Florida in 2001 and is a reprint of the first half (chapters 1 to 14) of the original Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations, part of the NASA history series, 1978.

The second half of the original book was also reprinted as Moon Launch! and focuses on the actual Apollo launch missions.

It is based on extensive interviews with those directly involved in the Apollo missions

It is the definitive history of the origins, design, and construction of the lunar launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center; where mankind made the first trips to the moon.

Format: Paperback
Page: 352 pages
Publisher: University Press of Florida, 1st edition
Date: February 12, 2001
Size: 9.0 x 6.8 x 0.9 inches

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The book concentrates on the early days including the construction of the launch complexes 39A and 39B, the gigantic launch pads from which the Apollo/Saturn rockets would blast off and were later used to launch the space shuttles, and the enormous eight-acre Vertical Assembly Building (renamed the Vehicle Assembly Building) and the attached Launch Control Center; some of the most awesome buildings ever constructed.

It details the genesis of the Saturn rocket programme from the original Saturn I that first lifted off from launchpad LC-34 in 1961, that led to the Saturn V that launched the Apollo moon lander missions.

It is based on extensive interviews with those directly involved in the Apollo missions and contains black and white pictures and diagrams of the locations, personnel and equipment used in the Apollo programme. It also discusses the problems and issues between the NASA engineers and the various government departments.

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